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Okay. I admit I’m a senior. I probably should make some effort to be more dignified. Sadly, that ship has sailed. Gill and I went to see a matinee showing of ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ yesterday. I think I embarrassed Gill. I laughed hysterically throughout the film–louder and more enthusiastically than the remaining audience of kids. My eyes were tearing up and I could barely contain myself.

This is the kind of movie that is billed as a ‘children’s movie’ but really, it’s the adults that get the most enjoyment out of it. Sure, the kids like the antics of the pets and adore the cuddly cuteness of them, but the dialogue and the detail of the pets’ behaviors, mannerisms and character traits are totally for the adults. After all, it’s the adults that have looked after the kids’ pets in their homes, the ones who have attempted to train the creatures (pets and kids), and the ones who cleaned up the vomit, shit and pee and put up with their bad behavior. They have seen ‘statement pees’ on the carpet, they have seen  passive-aggressive fits, they have seen rampant jealousy when a pet interloper tries to ‘steal’ their human parents. It’s as bad as toddlers in the sandbox fighting over the same toy. Or Donald Trump most of the time.

Let me set the scene for you, Dear Readers. It has been upwards of 30 degrees and sunny here. Gill has (after 10 years in England) become acclimated to its version of summer: 19 degrees– if you’re lucky– and rainy. She is in no way capable of dealing with Southern Ontario’s heat, humidity and sun. To her, it’s like living on the sun and she’s ready to burst into flames. Added to that, she’s been swollen since she got off the plane and itching and stuffed up with hay fever. She’s a proper mess. So, when I appeared in my theatre-going outfit of shorts (a weird version of cargo shorts replete with bows on the bottom) and a tacky red t-shirt covered in maple leaves, a beaver and advertising a camp in B.C., she commented:”Why are you wearing that, Ma? The theatre will have the air con cranked to meat locker settings. You’ll freeze!”

“You’re kidding, right? I’m hot now and the air con MIGHT just be enough to lower my body temp to non-meltdown mode — if God is a woman. And before you tell me I’m not still having menopausal hot flashes, I beg to differ. I must tell you that I just read a scientific article in the paper claiming that hot flashes can go on until a woman is in her 70s. That’s me. Please tell me you’re not wearing those long pants, sweater and socks. Are you crazy?”

“Indeed I am. The air con in North America is ridiculous! I’ll be freezing. So yes, this IS what I’m wearing. And despite your diagnosis last summer that I’m in peri-menopause, I disagree with you. I have not yet experienced the delight of hot flashes…although I look forward to being warm much of the time. Could come in handy for the British clime.”

When we arrived at the ticket counter, she spied two young girls ahead of us with their very own blankies — for warmth. “See? That’s a sensible way to go to the movies. Next time I’m bringing my own blanket!”

I groaned. “Of course you are…” A forty-year-old woman with a blankie. Sigh. And I know she will next time. Good thing I got my embarrassing behavior in first to beat the rush.

Granted, this was an early afternoon matinee. Even at that, there couldn’t have been more than a dozen people in the theatre. So at least Gill’s embarrassment at my hysterical laughter was only witnessed by a handful of people — most of whom were not old enough to know what embarrassing behavior looks like and certainly not old enough to be judgmental. But the mothers knew…

I would have borrowed a neighborhood kid to provide us with cover — you know, if you take a kid, you’re only laughing and carrying on since you want the kid to enjoy the experience and the louder you laugh, the louder they will laugh. It’s called ‘modeling good behavior’. Sure it is.

At least I didn’t pee my pants — only because I was sitting down. If I’d been standing, a whole different scenario. Ah, another joy of old age. But I will defend to the death my right to see and thoroughly enjoy kid flicks!

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